Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Beginnings

Yesterday we received Maggie's homeschool curriculum. It came in 2 huge boxes that weighed 40 pounds. It was a lot to take in all at once.

She is doing the K12 program through Washington Online School. The K12 program is quite expensive, but doing through WOSU makes it free, since it's a public school. Nice, huh?

And now that I've seen how much crap, uh, I mean stuff, comes with the K12, I can understand why it's so pricey.

So we've had 2 days of lessons. We've breezed through 4 math lessons no problem. The language arts is a little trickier, since Maggie isn't super confident in her reading skills yet. The phonics kit helps, but honestly, it's not what I was hoping for when it came to homeschooling.

It's more like school at home. There are worksheets and whiteboards, and sight word cards, and things of that nature. Not that I don't think those things are wonderful when it comes to learning, I just had this image of it being more like Maggie learning what she wants, when she wants, and not such a rigid schedule.

I know these first few days or weeks will be tough with all the adjustments, and I know we will find our groove and decide how much of which lesson we really need to focus on, but until then, I just hope she and I can muddle through and find that enjoyment.

I'm grateful to have her at home with me. I know she needs to be here, and I know I'm doing the right thing when it comes to her education. I just have to keep telling myself that.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


We started some pumpkins in cups a few days ago. I thought it would be a good way for Maggie to see the joy of growing something. We put about 5 seeds in each cup, and she was in charge of making sure they stayed watered.

Oh boy, did she make sure they stayed watered.

Most of them are swampy and muddy, but surprisingly they still started sprouting! We have 3 cups that have vines starting, the other 4 should come up any day now, if they will sprout at all.

I think we'll keep them in cups for a week or two more until they are sturdy enough to move outside.

I think this is a good opportunity for her to be responsible for something, and to see that her actions produce results.

Hopefully they're the results we want!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Today we saw Oceans. It was a great movie. I felt good about it as a homeschool-type activity, especially afterward when all the kids were talking at once about their favorite parts. Maggie even remembered that I wanted to be a Sea Otter when the Sea Otters were being spotlighted.

I guess even something as simple as a movie can turn into an educational experience.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Everyday Lessons

Yesterday Maggie made an invention. She ran yarn from the door at the top of the stairs, down to the basement and around the corner. She then tied a stick on the end and found that if she pulled the yarn, the door upstairs would close. When I discovered this, I asked her what it was. I fully expected some magical name, but she simply responded with "It's a pulley, mom".

Like, duh.

Of course I should fully expect my 6 year old to know what a pulley is, and how to make one. Simply though, this little contraption filled me with hope that I can do this homeschool thing. I really can!

Yesterday we also went kayaking. While making lunch, I asked the kids to do some simple math problems. I used my favorite family as an example. I had them figure out that if we had 18 kids like the Duggars, and each kid ate half a sandwich, how many would we have to make? It only took my nephew Gabe about 30 seconds to figure it out. We then expounded on that problem by adding in people, making bigger sandwiches, and accounting for parents eating more than one.

I don't think the kids even realized they were learning! It was magical! I told them afterward that they couldn't go home without having learned something that day! It's these everyday lessons that I need to be more aware of as I follow this path.

I know we're doing the right thing. I also know it won't always be this simple or exciting. But it's what I need right now at the beginning.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Anixous Much?

I'm having doubts. Can I really do this? Can she really do this? Will I be able to stay on top of things and organized enough to actually make a dent in my child's educational needs?

I look around and see women that are so much more organized than I am, so much more patient than I am, so much smarter than I am, and they don't homeschool their kids. What if I'm constantly losing things and running around trying to find things and completely missing the boat on "teaching time"? Will she learn anything from me?

I know all these questions will eventually solve themselves, but sitting here, on this precipice of a life changing endeavor, all I really have are questions. I can only hope that one day she'll surprise me with a bit of knowledge that I never realized she had picked up on. Or that she will take a keen interest in a subject without me prompting her, and she'll learn things I would have never thought to teach.

I know she's smart and capable. Now if only I could keep that same confidence in myself!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 1

Well, today was Maggie's last day of Kindergarten. Yes, I know it's Wednesday. It seems more appropriate to pull her out on a Friday, I know, but today is also Emma's last day because D Track goes off track today. I thought this would give Mags and Emma some sort of autonomy for then next few weeks.

I had major anxiety about taking her out of school today. I didn't realize it would hit me like it did. Her teacher and friends were sad to see her go, and Maggie was sad to go. It makes me second-guess myself, which I hate, but I know I'm doing the right thing.

I'm sure the next few days will be filled with lots of vegging in front of the TV and hanging out outside. Then I'll send Emma back on track and Maggie and I will adjust to life at home.

Interesting things to come, I'm sure.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Preparing For, Well, I Don't Even Know

We have 2 days until we'll officially have our middlest daughter pulled out of school to be home taught.

I'm terrified.

And excited.

I have no idea what I'm in for.

I hope to put together a bunch of good ideas and post them here on this blog, both for my own reference and yours, and also as a way to see (any) progress we make throughout the next year.

Stay tuned.